Sunday, July 31, 2011

Worf Filipowicz

 We weren't really planning on getting a dog, although we always knew we would some day.  My daughter's love of animals prompted me to take her to the animal shelter last week just for something to do.   During our visit, we mostly just looked at cats, because the sound of ten large dogs barking in a confined hallway was too much for Jadzia's tender nerves and eardrums.  However, I did notice that they had a puppy.  Not a washed up old mutt, but a puppy.

The sign said he was a Pointer x Border Collie, but we were later told he was probably a Lab x Border Collie, or maybe something else.  They found him on the street and your guess is as good as theirs.  In fact, they found him on our street. 

We went to the shelter today just to look at him.  We played with him in the room for playing with dogs.  We took him for a walk.  He likes to play fetch.  He likes the kids. The kids like him.  He's cute. He's calm for a puppy.

Adam would want to adopt any dog he saw, ditto for the kids, so it was all up to me to be the grown-up and make the big decisions.  I asked the shelter worker if they would hold him for twenty-four hours so I could think about it.  "No."  So we took him right then and there.  It was too late anyway.  He already felt like part of the family.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I need a freezie mommy

I can't wait to be done that box of freezies.  There are less than ten left in the box, mostly white ones because until recently my son thought white meant "no flavour".  Everyday my daughter tiptoes up to me and informs me in her sweet voice that she needs a freezie.  If I refuse, which I usually do after the third, forth, or tenth freezie, then the sweet voice changes into the whining, crying, yelling, sound of  a self-entitled toddler.

William always asks for a freezie thirty seconds to a minute after Jadzia asks for one.  This is exactly enough time for me to get back into whatever I was doing before only to be interrupted again.

The freezies are small, basically sips of sugary juice frozen in narrow plastic sleeves.  This is how I rationalize giving them large quantities of sometimes food.  I tried to limit them to two freezies at a time, but I the strength of my resolve is no match for a two-year-old's tantrum. In the time it took to write the first paragraph I had served out five freezies (two to William, and three to Jadzia).  My daughter is currently throwing herself on my lap in whiny desperation, because I haven't responded fast enough to her request for another.  Ah well, the more she eats, the faster they will be gone.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Balade sans enfants

Today is my husband's birthday, so what a perfect time to tell you all about the romantic bicycle ride we took last week at Niagara-on-the-lake. The town boasts a smooth, meandering bike path along the Niagara river, under the shade of mature oaks (and other majestic trees). I couldn't keep the smile off my face, and not just because of the beautiful scenery.

We travelled from our hotel past Fort George (headquarters of the British Army during the war of 1812) where I posed suggestively on a cannon:

Imagine always having to be the responsible one;  the person to decide "yes" or "no", whether an activity is safe, what volume is acceptable, and even which jokes are appropriate.  I didn't realize that's what my life is until that weight was lifted.

It reminded me of when my husband and I were dating, when we used to hang out, just enjoying each others company. For a moment I remembered what my world was like before my adorable, yet highly dependent offspring.  I remembered why I married this man in the first place.

We have fun together.  Fun. Remember that? Without the constant threat of over-tired tantrums and demands for snacks.  We biked to Brown's Point, and I have no idea if that's an accomplisment or not.  It didn't feel like a strenuous journey.  It was perfectly easy-going.

On the way back we stopped at a store advertising fresh cherries and shared a pint.  Nobody whined about their hunger until we were forced to stop, we just got a treat for ourselves and enjoyed it together.  Best. Day. Ever.

I love you, Adam.  Happy Birthday

Monday, July 04, 2011

They Feed Us then We Feed Them


On Saturday I went with my family to the ostrich farm. (In this instance my family includes my four-person family, my brother's three, and my friend Columbia's three as well).  Our first order of business was to order barbecued Ostrich burgers, which most of the kids didn't like (my 15-month-old niece seem to enjoy them).  The meat was lean, not as greasy as beef burgers, and it had a distinct flavour.  Vaguely remeniscent of beef or chicken, but not the same as either.  I found them quite delightful.

Next we took a tour of the farm, with a guide named Joey who looked about 15-years-old.  He showed us the breeders, adult Ostriches that were lucky enough to have avoided the chopping block.  Then he gave us a cup full of feed and took us to see the "Teenagers", who weren't so lucky.

They plunged their heads into our chalices of corn with such vigour, that the feed spilled everywhere.  Then, when the cups were empty, they pecked violently at our feet.  Although the word "pecked" is far too dainty, as the sound was across between machine-gun fire and an angry village mob pounding on your front door.  Joey told us that the ostriches have brains as big as their eye, and that they really aren't very smart.  While I enjoyed the experience of having dinosaur-like creatures lunge their rock-hard beaks at my toes, I really didn't feel too bad about eating them.

After that we got to peak through a window at a small group of adorable leopard-spotted ostrich chicks.

Advice: if you go, bring lots of cash.  They don't take debit or credit and there are lots of exotic meats you can buy there.  Luckily we had just enough to purchase some bison for Adam's birthday dinner tomorrow.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Lobster Poutine

It's a good thing that a three course meal was included in our Christmas giftcard, because otherwise  I would have cheaped out and not ordered the $18 appetizer.  You know how a lot of places sell "lobster" dishes, adding just a tiny amount of meat so they can print "lobster" on the menu and trick you into ordering it?  Not so at Zee's Grill!  I was pleasantly surprised to find giant chunks of claw meat over top of my cheese curds and fries.  It was the best poutine I have ever tasted.  Why doesn't New York fries offer the option, I wonder?

My entree was excellent aswell.  Tender pieces of duck breast on top of a bacon-loaded pasta. Saying "bacon" on the menu wasn't a trick!  Of course I was so full by the end of it that I had to open up my second stomach to make room for dessert.

Dessert: chocolate crepes with mousse, creme brulee, and fudge.  I was so rolly polly that I almost couldn't stay awake for the play we saw afterward at the Shaw Festival Theatre.

BTW: I neglected to take a picture of my delicious meal but here's a link I found with a picture of lobster poutine. Mine was served in a bowl, not on a newspaper, but it was basically the same. 

BBTW: This review is pro bono, but I do get paid to write them occasionally.
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